Electricity Authority Chairman To Discuss Measures To Lower Bills
Electricity Authority Chairman Charis Thrasou said he plans to meet with Commerce Minister Praxoula Antoniadou to discuss ways to lower electricity bills after a public outcry against charges in the hundreds of euros, he said in comments to Sigma TV.
Thrasou sought to justify a steep 49 percent increase in electricity charges, saying that out of every 100 euros paid by consumers, 60 euros is spent on fuel, 25 euros go to the EAC and the rest of the charges are taxes and 'other burdens.'
"The problem is the big rise in fuel costs," said Thrasou.
The EAC is planning to open two large units running on natural gas and to meet with the natural gas authority DEFA to introduce more natural gas infrastructure before Cyprus produces its own from Block 12, he said.
The meeting with the commerce minister will be held on Wednesday 29th February, coincidentally on the same day as a planned pan-Cyprian protest to be held outside the EAC's main offices in Paphos, Nicosia, Limassol, Nicosia and Paralimni between 12.30-2pm.
Consumers have been stunned by their latest bills for the two months December 2011 and January 2012 which have shown sharp increases. Two large protest groups have formed on Facebook.com called 'End Unfair Electricity Authority Monopoly' and 'One Voice Against EAC' which have gathered over 8000 members in the first three weeks alone.
The fora are full of stories of bills ranging between 400-1,200 euros, with consumers reporting that their electricity bills are often higher than their mortgages or rents. To top it all off, Eurostat's latest survey puts Cyprus at the top of the list of the most expensive electricity in the EU.
Reactions from the political world have been varied, with ruling AKEL sticking to the government and EAC's line and blaming high fuel costs; opposition DISY seeking for lower VAT on electricity bills; and EDEK and the Greens calling for lower electricity prices.
Photo: Haris Thrassou
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